Reclassification and Investment: An Analysis of Free Press' 'It's Working' Report
Perspectives, PHOENIX CENTER FOR ADVANCED LEGAL & ECONOMIC PUBLIC POLICY STUDIES, May 2017
6 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2017
Date Written: May 22, 2017
Free Press’s report “It’s Working: How the Internet Access and Online Video Markets are Thriving in the Title II Era” claims that capital spending by Broadband Service Providers (“BSPs”) “accelerated” following the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) reclassification of broadband Internet access connections as a Title II common carrier telecommunications service in its 2015 Open Internet Order, increasing by 5.3% between 2013-2014 and 2015-2016. Free Press’ analysis fails to meet the most basic of professional standards. Once the most basic adjustment to the data is made — accounting for inflation — Free Press’ data show that capital spending fell significantly in 2016. Free Press’ own data provides support for the $3.7 to $5.1 billion investment decline cited by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai when announcing his intent to review of the 2015 Open Internet Order.
Keywords: Net Neutrality, Investment, Title II, Open Internet, Telecommunications, Broadband, Regulation
JEL Classification: L96
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation